Quotations of Wisdom

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The Beatles

Life is very short, and there's no time, for fussing and fighting, my friend. — We Can Work It Out [Q1373]

Wendell Berry

A teacher, finally, has nothing to go on but faith, a student nothing to offer in return but testimony. [Q1325]

Blaise Pascal

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists. [Q584]

Carl Jung

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. [Q252]

Robert Fuller

Anger congeals to hate when people fear domination and experience the indignity of being discounted. No one, conservative or progressive, likes being taken for a nobody. Hatred takes root when fears remain unaddressed and dignity is disregarded. Imagined indignities can feel as injurious as real ones, and suffice to incite people to commit mayhem and murder. [Q1346]

Gustave Flaubert

Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times. [Q704]

Master Po

Never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. —- Kung Fu Television series 1972 [Q509]

Mustafa Kemal

We must liberate our concepts of justice, our laws and our legal institutions from the bonds which, even though they are incompatible with the needs of our century, still hold a tight grip on us. [Q1932]

Kurt Gödel

Intuition is not proof; it is the opposite of proof. We do not analyze intuition to see a proof but by intuition we see something without a proof. [Q1963]

John Boyd Orr

Our civilization has evolved through the continuous adjustment of society to the stimulus of new knowledge. [Q1149]

Henry David Thoreau

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. [Q491]

David Hume

Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few. [Q1359]

Katherine Anne Porter

Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning. [Q524]

Marshall McLuhan

Innumerable confusions and a feeling of despair invariably emerge in periods of great technological and cultural transition. [Q1462]

Hodding Carter Jr.

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots. The other is wings. [Q2103]

Virgil

Yield not to calamity, but face her boldly. [Q1594]

David Mitchell

Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future. &mdash Cloud Atlas [Q2093]

Henry Ford

The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt. [Q1970]

Sallust

Every bad precedent originated as a justifiable measure. [Q437]

Isaac Asimov

Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know - and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. [Q702]

Eduardo Galeano

I am astonished each time I come to the U.S. by the ignorance of a high percentage of the population, which knows almost nothing about Latin America or about the world. It's quite blind and deaf to anything that may happen outside the frontiers of the U.S. [Q717]

Václav Havel

When a person tries to act in accordance with his conscience, when he tries to speak the truth, when he tries to behave like a citizen, even in conditions where citizenship is degraded, it won't necessarily lead anywhere, but it might. There's one thing, however, that will never lead anywhere, and that is speculating that such behavior will lead somewhere. [Q1771]

Jonas Salk

When things get bad enough, then something happens to correct the course. And it is that sense I speak of evolution as an error-making and error-correctiong process. And if we can be ever so much better — ever so much slightly better — at error correcting than at error making, then we'll make it. [Q489]

Aristotle

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost. [Q848]

Aristotle

Homer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully. [Q845]

James Bryce

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. [Q2068]

Plato

Democracy... is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike. [Q878]

Douglas Adams

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. [Q1000]

Virgil

Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance. [Q1572]

Marshall McLuhan

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be. [Q1470]

Scott Nesler

The human species lives in a world where understanding partners with conflict. [Q594]

Charles Kuralt

I think all those people I did stories about measured their own success by the joy their work was giving them. [Q477]

Isaac Newton

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. [Q368]

Craig Calhoun

Science challenges authority, because knowledge is based on logic and evidence. We should not believe simply what we are taught, but should use evidence and argument. — Paraphrase from the book Classical Sociological Theory [Q1130]

Edward de Bono

The false dichotomies we constructed in order to operate the logic principles of contradiction have been so especially disastrous. (from the book, I am right, you are wrong. page 37) [Q2007]

Hippocrates

To do nothing is also a good remedy. [Q1034]

Richard P. Feynman

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. [Q734]

Woodrow Wilson

Social reform is a matter of cooperation, and, if it be of a novel kind, requires an infinite deal of converting to bring [people] to believe in it and support it. [Q1820]

Scott Nesler

The world is not flat nor is an argument. [Q129]

Václav Havel

Man is in fact nailed down — like Christ on the Cross — to a grid of paradoxes . . . he balances between the torment of not knowing his mission and the joy of carrying it out, between nothingness and meaningfulness. And like Christ, he is in fact victorious by virtue of his defeats. [Q1764]

William Gibson

The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed. [Q678]

Sheldon Lee Glashow

Today's thinking habits cannot be based on word-play or belief systems but must be attuned to the latest developments in neuroscience and matched to 'the way the human brain creates perception'. Dr de Bono is motivated because 'in democracies it is everyone's business that everyone should think better'. — Prologue to Edward de Bono's I am Right You are Wrong. [Q1989]

Marshall McLuhan

Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either. [Q1451]

Herbert Simon

Anything that gives us new knowledge gives us an opportunity to be more rational. [Q642]

Bertrand Russell

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine. [Q443]

Maximilien Robespierre

No one loves armed missionaries. [Q1296]

Adlai Stevenson II

The real patriots are those who love America as she is, but who want the beloved to be more lovable. This is not treachery. This, as every parent, every teacher, every friend must know, is the truest and noblest affection. [Q1846]

Marshall McLuhan

One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with. [Q1468]

Mohandas Gandhi

Live simply so that others may simply live. [Q1311]

Lloyd Bentsen

Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy [Q1307]

Ward Cunningham

People can and do trust works produced by people they don’t know. The real world is still trying to figure out how Wikipedia works. A fantastic resource. Open source is produced by people that you can’t track down, but you can trust it in very deep ways. People can trust works by people they don’t know in this low communication cost environment. [Q1008]

Marshall McLuhan

A typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it. [Q1446]

John F. Kennedy

...if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children`s future. And we are all mortal. [Q1276]

Plutarch

Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly. [Q780]

Henry Drummond

As long as the pre-requisite for that shining paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate.....I say to Hell with it! — Inherit the Wind [Q100]

Italo Calvino

For these ports I could not draw a route on the map or set a date for the landing. At times all I need is a brief glimpse, an opening in the midst of an incongruous landscape, a glint of lights in the fog, the dialogue between two passersby meeting in the crowd, and I think that setting out from there, I will put together, piece by piece, the perfect city made of fragments mixed with the rest, of instants separated by intervals, of signals one sends out, not knowing who receives them. If I tell you that the city toward which my journey tends is discontinuous in space and time, now scattered, now more condensed, you must not believe that the search for it can stop. Perhaps while we speak, it is rising, scattered, within the confines of your empire; you can hunt for it, but only in the way I have said. — Invisible Cities [Q388]

Virgil

Every man makes a god of his own desire. [Q1576]

Thomas Jefferson

We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it. [Q196]

Richard P. Feynman

It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man. [Q735]

Aristotle

Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim. [Q842]

Henry Lawson

We shall never be understood or respected by the English until we carry our individuality to extremes, and by asserting our independence, become of sufficient consequence in their eyes to merit a closer study than they have hitherto accorded us. [Q429]

Albert Einstein

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. [Q24]

Robert Anton Wilson

Animals outline their territories with their excretions, humans outline their territories by ink excretions on paper. [Q244]

Albert Einstein

Truth is what stands the test of experience. [Q300]

Richard Feynman

I wonder why, I wonder why,
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why, I wonder why,
I wonder why I wonder! [Q1903]

Senator Paul Simon

However, those who kill have been stimulated by others who preach fanaticism. Religious leaders who advocate with excessive zealotry share the guilt with the murderers who wield the knives and pull the triggers. [Q1704]

Scott Nesler

It's a fact that facts are misused. [Q52]

Theodore Roosevelt

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. [Q1287]

Christopher Alexander

The structure of life I have described in buildings - the structure which I believe to be objective - is deeply and inextricably connected with the human person, and with the innermost nature of human feeling. [Q672]

Epicurus

If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires. [Q799]

Carl Sagan

We have learned to value careful observations, to respect the facts, even when they are disquieting, when they seem to contradict conventional wisdom ... We see further than they, only because we stand on their shoulders. We build on what they knew. We depend on free inquiry and free access to knowledge. [Q1240]

Marshall McLuhan

We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us. [Q1486]

Gabrielle Gifford

And what is seen in the last couple of weeks is that people want to have created for them a form where they can be disruptive rather than actually providing the information in a way that's going to give me their perspective and educate me on their point of view. [Q1262]

Alfred North Whitehead

In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed. Not all your heroism, not all your victories on land or at sea, can move back the finger of fate. Today we maintain ourselves. Tomorrow science will have moved forward yet one more step, and there will be no appeal from the judgement which will then be pronounced on the uneducated. [Q1863]

Jimmy Wales

Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing. [Q216]

Swami Vivekananda

The will is not free - it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect - but there is something behind the will which is free. [Q1143]

Todd Jealous

We do not owe allegiance to any candidate because they share our party or our color, but because they share our principles and our conscience. [Q2067]

Galileo Galilei

By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox. [Q931]

Václav Havel

People have passed through a very dark tunnel at the end of which there was a light of freedom. Unexpectedly they passed through the prison gates and found themselves in a square. They are now free and they don't know where to go. [Q1762]

Ralph Johnson

Software is not limited by physics, like buildings are. It is limited by imagination, by design, by organization. In short, it is limited by properties of people, not by properties of the world. [Q248]

Plato

Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation. [Q875]

Buckminster Fuller

A trimtab is a nautical device that acts as a small rudder used to turn the larger rudder of giant ships, offering tremendous leverage in terms of steering and changing the direction of the ship. Fuller, drawing upon his naval experience, saw the trimtab as a powerful metaphor for effective individual leadership: small and strategically placed interventions can cause large-scale and profound change. — Leadership By Design: How One Individual Can Change the World. The Leadership Principles of Buckminster Fuller. Medard Gabel and Jim Walker, 2006. [Q191]

Michel de Montaigne

I do not speak the minds of others except to speak my own mind better. [Q1167]

Galileo Galilei

Where the senses fail us, reason must step in. [Q944]

Plutarch

We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away. [Q791]

Marie Curie

There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth. [Q331]

Hippocrates

Whenever a doctor cannot do good, he must be kept from doing harm. [Q1035]

Mary McAleese

The extent to which all people in our society are made to count, and believe that they count, is not just a measure of decency; it makes sound economic sense. [Q456]

William Lyon Phelps

The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, and we grow happier as we grow older. [Q1054]

Dante Alighieri

O conscience, upright and stainless, how bitter a sting to thee is a little fault! [Q1512]

Dorothy Parker

You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think. [Q2030]

Václav Havel

The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. We learned not to believe in anything, to ignore one another, to care only about ourselves. Concepts such as love, friendship, compassion, humility or forgiveness lost their depth and dimension, and for many of us they represented only psychological peculiarities, or they resembled gone-astray greetings from ancient times, a little ridiculous in the era of computers and spaceships. [Q1786]

Galileo Galilei

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty. [Q932]

Unattributed

You don't know what you don't know until somebody tells you. [Q386]

Wendell Berry

In the effort to tell a whole story, to see it whole and clear, I have had to imagine more than I have known. [Q1339]

Richard P. Feynman

The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. [Q736]

Mohandas Gandhi

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching. [Q557]

John Searle

Where questions of style and exposition are concerned I try to follow a simple maxim: if you can't say it clearly you don't understand it yourself. [Q1187]

Sophocles

Men should pledge themselves to nothing; for reflection makes a liar of their resolution. [Q1255]

Pablo Picasso

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. [Q604]

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